Through the announcement of the Lumia 610 and ZTE Orbit at the Mobile World Congress, we discovered that the rumors about Tango lowering its standards, so to speak, for lower-end devices were true. But beyond knowing that the minimum amount of requirement memory was being lowered to 256MB, we knew little about what other changes would be made to accommodate lower-performance devices.
Thankfully, LiveSide stumbled upon some stealthily-made updates to the Windows Phone How-To website, in which some new Tango features and limitations were detailed. They took the trouble of rummaging through the documentation and compiling this list of the limitations that will affect these lower-end devices:
- Windows Phone Marketplace app restrictions – Some processor-intensive apps have memory requirements, and won’t work on phones with 256 MB of RAM. You can check how much memory you have on your phone by tapping Settings > About.
- Podcast Subscriptions and Video Podcasts – You won’t be able to manage podcast subscriptions on your phone or watch video podcasts if your phone has 256 MB of RAM.
- Local Scout – You won’t be able to use Local Scout if your phone has only 256 MB of RAM.
- Fast app switching – This feature will not work if your phone has 256 MB of RAM.
- SkyDrive automatic photo upload – You won’t be able to upload pictures automatically to SkyDrive if your phone has only 256 MB of RAM.
- HD video playback – You won’t be able to play video compressed with some of the listed codecs if your phone has 256 MB of RAM.
- Background agents – To free up RAM for the foreground on 256MB devices, generic background agents (PeriodicTasks/ResourceIntensiveTasks) are disabled.
- Better media messaging. Now you can attach multiple pictures and videos—along with voice notes and ringtones—to text messages. You can include a video, picture, voice note, or ringtone in an instant message, too.
- Location awareness icon. When an app is accessing your phone’s current location information, an icon will appear next to the battery status indicator
- Export and manage contacts to SIM card. All Windows Phones allows you to import contacts from a SIM card, but only some phones allows you to export contacts to a SIM card, or create and edit individual contacts on the SIM card. For more information, please contact your mobile operator. (Strangely, this feature is only documented on the Chinese version of the website. The English version states that “you can’t save contacts from a Windows Phone to a SIM card.”)